Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dec 2/Paris, TX - Remembering Our Veterans CLE for XAttorneys Serving Veterans

Lone Star Legal Aid announces:

Lone Star Legal Aid Hosts “Remembering Our Veterans,” A Free CLE Training on Dec 2 for Attorneys Serving Veterans
TX) Veterans Day festivities may have now ended, but Lone Star Legal
Aid continues our mission to honor veterans and service members by
partnering with private attorneys to increase legal services for
low-income veterans and service members. It is an unfortunate reality
that countless Texas military veterans and their dependents have serious
legal problems, and, like other low-income Texans, cannot afford to
hire an attorney. To help Texas lawyers serve an often-overlooked
population, Lone Star Legal Aid’s Paris Branch office is conducting a
half-day continuing legal education (CLE) event for Texas attorneys. The
CLE will take place December 2, 2011 from 1:00-5:00 at the Lamar County
Court House located at
119 North Main in Paris.

are critically difficult economic times where resources are scarce and
our client population’s needs continue to multiply,” said Kristy
Rodgers, Branch Manager for Lone Star Legal Aid’s Paris office. “Many
veterans come to our office in need of help on a range of simple to
complex and urgent legal matters, but Legal Aid simply cannot serve
every one. This harsh reality makes our partnerships with private
attorneys so valuable because they help ensure that more low-income
Texans have access to justice.   

are grateful to be expanding partnerships to help expand legal services
for low-income Texans,” Ms. Rodgers continued, “especially for our men
and women veterans who served our country so bravely.”

CLE is free for Texas attorneys who agree to accept at least one civil
case from Lone Star Legal Aid for a low-income Texas veteran on a pro
bono basis. Attorneys who attend the event can earn up to 4 hours of CLE
credit from the State Bar of Texas. The event will be moderated by
Lamar County Judge Bill Harris. The program will include an overview of
Veteran Benefits, federal and state protections for active service
members and other issues of interest to attorneys serving veterans such
as IRS considerations.
Check out the flyer here: PARIS CLE VETERANS
For more information or to RSVP contact Lone Star Legal Aid’s Paris Office at 903–785-8711.                                                                               

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nov 15/San Francisco - Service Members and #Veterans: The Right to Protest and Possible Consequences

As part of the 99%, servicemembers and veterans have been
participating in Occupy protests in droves. But what are the
consequences for such actions? Can servicemembers be punished under the
Uniform Code of Military Justice for such protests, or do the freedoms
guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution apply to them, too?

Please join the Bay Area Military Law Panel of the National Lawyers Guild, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and Courage to Resist for a workshop on servicemembers’ rights to protest and related
Service Members and Veterans: The Right to Protest and Possible Consequences
Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 7-9pm

American Friends Service Committee

65 Ninth Street

San Francisco, CA 94103
Topics covered:
  • Active duty and reservists’ protest rights
  • Potential impact on veterans benefits for criminal justice-involved veterans
  • Protest participation and PTSD triggers
  • Report back from IVAW’s participation and update on Scott Olsen.
Jane Kaplan

Steve Collier, Teresa Panepinto, Rai Sue Sussman
1.5 hours of free CLE credit available, .5 of which is ethics credit.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Army bars dual U.S. citizens from most jobs

Margaret Stock
Margaret Stock, Army Reserve, wrote an interesting, and opinionated, article:
Earlier this year, the Army issued a revised personnel regulation with far-reaching consequences.
In this August 4 revision, Army Regulation 601-210, the Army announced that persons who are dualcitizens, of the United States and another country, are not permitted to enlist, in the Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard, for jobs that require a security clearance – “unless they already possess a security clearance.” The regulation is important because it potentially bars millions of Americans from most Army jobs: The vast majority of Army jobs require a security clearance –including officer appointments, Special Forces, Military Intelligence, and Military Police jobs, but also most others.
Dual citizenship is something that millions of Americans possess, often inadvertently, but other times because dual citizenship allows them to travel more freely, or live and work easily in other countries.
Whether a person holds citizenship in a particular country is a matter of that country’s law, not of U.S. law. One’s citizenship is thus not always within the control either of the individual or of the United States government.
Although some countries allow their citizens to expatriate, others do not. Some people are dual citizens because their parents or grandparents hold citizenship in a foreign country; others are dual citizens because they were born in another country.....
You'll want to read the whole article at

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Legal Support for Servicemembers, Reservists and Veterans Participating in Political Protests

Members of our warrior community may participate in political protests, but there are rules especially for active duty servicemembers. This has become a matter of increased urgency in recent days, and it's worth noting that the general principles apply regardless of the political issue and stance. In this context, materials prepared by the National Lawyer's Guild Military Law Task Force can be especially helpful. Here's a recent press release:
The National Lawyers Guild has endorsed the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City and thousands of cities world-wide and offered legal support.
Members of the US military have joined the OWS protests in many locales. As the Military Law Task Force of the NLG, we stand ready to coordinate legal support for active duty servicemembers, reservists and veterans who are facing harassment and/or legal sanctions for participating in these important protests. (We can be reached by telephone at (619)463-2369 or on our website at this link.)
We also want to correct some of the misinformation given to members of the military about the right to protest. Contrary to popular opinion, active-duty members of the military do retain some of their constitutional rights. While there are some military-specific restrictions on these rights, most protest actions are in fact legal.
Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 1325.6, “Guidelines for Handling Dissident and Protest Activities Among Members of the Armed Forces” and relevant case law lays out the basic parameters of what servicemembers can and can’t do, but in a nut-shell the basic thing to remember is that servicemembers retain their right to protest, except under the following situations:
1. Protests while in uniform(some commanders have interpreted this to even include wearing part of one’s uniform, such as wearing only one’s uniform boots with civilian clothing)
2. Protests on military property
3. Protests while on duty
4. Protests outside the United States
5. Protesting that includes the use of “disrespectful” speech about one’s command chain (including the President), even if this speech is true.
6. Protesting in situations that constitute a “breach of law and order” or where “violence is likely to occur” (arguably an unconstitutionally vague provision)
Along with these basic guidelines, other restrictions apply to partisan/electoral political activity – See DOD Instruction – Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces 1344.10
And it is more important to remember that commanders often break the law, and seek to intimidate and threaten servicemembers who act within the boundaries of the law. If you or someone you know experiences this, please know that the MLTF has your back, and we can help you find a lawyer and/or a G.I. Rights counselor in your area to assist you in fighting back against unjust treatment. Please contact us for more assistance.
For more information:
Whether or not you agree with Occupy Wall Street, you can learn more about your rights, and avoiding unnecessary problems, through the Military Law Task Force's resources at